Tory Party leader, William Hague has slagged off the Government for the IR35 tax, and its record on e-commerce. Writing in our sister magazine, Computer Weekly, he said: "Nearly £500 million of (extra taxes) will come from the IR35 stealth tax - the Government's brain-drain tax on IT consultants. Across the country, small IT companies have been telling me that they are deeply concerned by this New Labour tax.
Today it is clear that our forecasts are coming true. Already consultants have been forced overseas - Labour ministers get postcards from them all the time. There hasn't been a brain drain on this scale since the 1970s, and Labour still hasn't learnt those old lessons. The outgoing chairman of the Professional Contractors' Group said earlier this year that he fears IR35 will deal a massive blow to Britain's enterprise culture. It is the worst example of Labour's failure to understand how business and the new economy work.
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Politicians cannot take credit for e-commerce: they didn't invent the internet; they don't make the jobs or take the risks. So government must get out of the way fast to let e-commerce flourish. This is my vision for the new economy. We need to be ruthless in cutting regulation, and fighting Labour's stealth taxes. And we must put Britain back in the lead on skills and education."